Flicker hatchlings

Go Native! Top plants for Colorado birds

With the Denver area growing at break neck speed, the small open fields that provided food and shelter are quickly dissapearing.   In my area they are being filled by car washes and auto parts stores.

It’s ever more important that the garden feeds our birds and the insects that feed their chicks.  Providing birds, catapillars and butterflies the food they need can be challenging especially if you have a small yard.  To help the Colorado home gardener, here’s a top 10 list of the native plants. Rated based on the number of birds and insects they support, as well as the birds they feed.

To source natives, I looked at the Audobon Native list and the Colorado Native Plant Society shade list. I’ve created a personal list with Audobon’s help.   I have found good  retailers like Prairie Nursery who provides a map showing where species are native.  Plants or seeds may be available.  You might also look to American Meadows and Prairie Moon Nursery   I can’t forget High Country Gardens that is a mainstay for the Southwest gardener.

Online nurseries that sell these natives have been linked to the Plant name, if you would like to purchase these natives.

Sadly not many local nurseries provide native species.  If you know of great native growers please let me know!

Plant NameScientific NameMay attract
Little False Bluestem
Schizachyrium scopariumCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceOriolesThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWrens
Side-Oats Grama

Bouteloua curtipendulaCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceCrows & JaysFinchesSparrows
Choke Cherry

Prunus virginianaCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceCrows & JaysMockingbirds & ThrashersNuthatchesOriolesThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWoodpeckersWrens
Golden Currant

Ribes aureumCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceCrows & JaysMockingbirds & ThrashersOriolesThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWrens
Red Bearberry

Arctostaphylos uva-ursiCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceCrows & JaysMockingbirds & ThrashersOriolesThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWrens
Saskatoon Service-Berry

Amelanchier alnifoliaCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceCrows & JaysFinchesMockingbirds & ThrashersNuthatchesOriolesSparrowsThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWoodpeckersWrens
Eaton’s Firecracker

Penstemon eatoniiCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceHummingbirdsOriolesThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWrens
Gray Goldenrod

Solidago nemoralisCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceCrows & JaysFinchesOriolesSparrowsThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWrens
Great Blue Lobelia

Lobelia siphiliticaCardinals & GrosbeaksChickadees & TitmiceHummingbirdsOriolesThrushesVireosWaxwingsWood WarblersWrens

Birds are not the only ones you need to feed. How about looking into host plants for butterflies?

Adding Butterfly host plants

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